31

From a sound design / sound engineer context As an effect, distortion is any process that alters the sound in the harmonic (tone, timbre) domain. Overdrive is a type of distortion. It is achieved by saturating (overdriving) the valves in an amplifier (or a simulation of this dynamic). In that context, overdrive is a subset of distortion. From a guitar ...


20

Reverb is actually the effect of playing in confined, walled spaces - the sound bounces off the walls giving a diffused sort of echo. In a wide open space there is zero reverb. (The original, now edited, question said 'wide, open spaces.) I've never heard 'drippy'. But 'wet' and 'dry' are common terms when applying effects. The 'dry' signal is the ...


19

Reverb and delay aren't completely unrelated effects - reverb can be thought of as a network of many short delays. While reverb can provide a realistic simulation of an acoustic space, using a lot of it will smear the effected signal in the time dimension, and tend to push it back in the mix, making it sound more distant. If reverb is applied to a signal ...


17

The sounds in the songs you've listed are actually pretty different to my ears, but I'll try to generalize and go through some examples. Here is the raw line for reference. This is a modified strat with an EMG-SA in the neck position. This is important because EMG is an active pickup so the signal level is higher. This means it will distort sooner. So keep ...


16

A flanger adds a delayed version of the input signal back into itself. This produces a theoretically infinite series of equally spaced notches in the spectrum of the output signal (the spacing is 1/delay-time). Often this is referred to as comb filtering since a graph of the spectrum looks like a comb with downward pointing teeth. Usually flangers vary ...


14

No. A sustain pedal is a simple switch with a piece of cable attached that the keyboard uses to emulate the function of the sustain pedal on the piano - which basically means "let ring the notes when the pedal is depressed even if you lift your fingers off the keys". A sustainer pedal is a compressor, which is a thing that that limits the dynamic range of ...


13

very simple answer... E-Bow I've had one for 30 years, there's nothing quite like it, but it is a technique in & of itself. You can do the standard 'never-ending note' by simply holding it over a string & sliding/hammering up & down the fretboard, but with a little practise you can make it sound like violin/cello spiccato by banging the string ...


13

Yeah, it's a heavy comp, but it's combined with the actual playing style, which is a really slow drag across the chord each time. I think it's either combined with a slight delay panned half right, or it has a close & ambient mic, panned centre & half right, so the sound seems to spread slightly towards the right each time. There could be chorus on ...


12

I believe that this is referring to where you would place your finger to get the desired harmonics. The harmonic that generates the major third is right before the 4th fret, which would be 3.85. 3.2 would be a harmonic near just beyond the 3rd fret, which should give you a D on the G string. This picture outlines the placement of the harmonics and the ...


11

The short answer is yes, it matters. How much it matters, and whether it matters to you, depends on your pedals, the combinations in which you use them, and your desired sound. Here are some general rules that most people follow; nothing's hard and fast: Gain before synth. Effects come in two basic families. Gain effects alter the amplitude of portions of ...


11

Often called violining, either use the swell (volume) pedal or the volume pot on your guitar. Strat style guitars are pretty good for this, as Leo thought to put the volume control quite close to the strings/bridge, so a little finger can roll from palm to tip as you pluck the string. Then it gets rolled off again the opposite way, ready for the next note. ...


11

One way to get this effect is with an envelope filter. Then you will get it automatically, as the volume starts at 0 when the string is plucked, and then increases (with the correct settings).


11

The important part of a violin sound is a gentle attack at the start of each note. Some players use a volume or swell pedal to achieve this: the note is played just as the pedal swells the volume in. Others use the volume pot on the guitar. Strats and Teles are quite easy to do this on, as the knob is close to where the string is picked. Again, the string is ...


11

I have a somewhat unique approach to playing bass, much more aggressive lines and sometimes play what would be considered a lead line if a guitar was playing it (or other lead instrument). With that said, my current setup is as follows: Tuner pedal- Obviously used for tuning but can be very helpful to act as a mute. This is especially helpful if you need ...


10

Envelope Filter This effect gives a guitar that ska/reggae/funk sound. It works by varying the cutoff frequency of a low-pass or bandpass filter (the same filter that's in a Wah-Wah effect, hence the Envelope Filter is also called an Auto-Wah) using an envelope follower which watches the signal for amplitude changes. So it wahs your attack, and then gives ...


10

Things which sound good "in the mix" often sound bad outside it. Something to always consider when dialing in guitar sounds. Some things to think about. The guitar is a midrange instrument, always make sure that you dont scoop your EQ settings. Always EQ before distortion/gain. Distortion will naturally compress, and will effect the entire signal. You want ...


10

Some effects (like wah or fuzz) work better* when they come before the preamp while some effects (like delay or reverb) work better* if they come after it. Yet some others (chorus or tremolo) can work equally well either way depending on the sound you're looking for. To provide this flexibility, most amps are equipped with an effects loop. It consists of an ...


10

Of course, it is a matter of taste. You're correct that a chorus creates multiple “voices”, but actually that's a good reason to put it after distortion! For distortion is nonlinear, which means that if you put in a combination of multiple voices, the result will be different from when you put each voice individually through distortion and mix ...


10

The dirt and grime that comes from distortion is a result of notes with frequency relationships beyond those that are very simple ratios (e.g. 2:1=an octave, and 3:2=a fifth) going through the distortion process together. This results in sum and difference frequencies being produced that seem only distantly related to the notes being played, resulting in an ...


9

Ring Modulator Ring modulation takes two separate signals and multiplies them. A ring modulator will typically take the input signal from an instrument and mix it with a second signal generated by an internal oscillator of which you can vary the frequency. When two sine waves with frequencies A and B are ring-modulated, the output will also contain the ...


9

Freeze pedal Sometimes also called a "granular synthesizer", this effect allows guitarists to infinitely sustain what they are currently playing on their guitars. Simple versions of this pedal are the Electro Harmonix "Freeze" pedal and the "Freeze" effect on the Boss ME-80 multi-effects pedal. A more sophisticated version is the Electro Harmonix "...


9

Wah-wah (or just "wah") This is effectively a foot-operated parametric equaliser. A frequency is determined normally by the position of a foot pedal. The input signal is boosted at, and around, this frequency, above the rest of the signal. As you move the pedal, the frequency being amplified changes up or down. The frequency range is set so that it sits ...


9

Looper A looper pedal or "phrase looper" allows a performer to record and later replay a phrase or passage from a song. Loops can be created on the spot during a performance or they can be pre-recorded. Some units allow a performer to layer multiple loops. The first loop effects were created with reel-to-reel tape using a tape loop. High-end boutique tape ...


9

Both phasers and flangers are "synth" effects. The incoming signal is analyzed, and additional waveforms, based on the source, are combined with or substituted for the "clean" signal to produce the effect. This makes them distinct from "gain"-based effects that work primarily by altering the amplitude of various components of the original signal directly, ...


9

Most simple loop pedals don't know about bars - it's just a sound sample of a length you set. Typically: You start recording by tapping a pedal You play your instrument You mark the end of the loop by tapping the pedal. The length of the loop is now set. The loop keeps playing, over and over. When you overdub, you add sounds to the loop More advanced ...


9

A pre-amp amplifies a quiet signal such as that from a passive guitar pickup, or a microphone, into a louder signal suitable for the input of a power amplifier. A couple of terms: "Instrument level" - the signal strength that typically comes out of a pickup instrument. This is generally so weak that if you connected it direct to some headphones, you wouldn'...


9

The bass is normally tuned one octave lower than the guitar, therefore you can achieve the same frequency range by lowering the frequency by one octave. You can achieve this with any form of frequency shifting, like an octave pedal. You can then adjust the timbre to carve the sound towards a bass sound, like he is doing by routing the signal to a bass amp. ...


9

Basically you use the boost pedal any time you need an extra bit of volume to stand out. Typically this is during a guitar solo, but yes, sometimes it is also useful in a song's chorus if the whole band picks up the energy a bit. But as with all effects, use your ears as a guide. Obviously you don't want to use it all the time, but for certain moments in a ...


9

When your effects are adding to the sound, you need to balance that by subtracting something in your playing. So for example, when heavy distortion is adding loads of new frequencies, playing two-note chords is the difference between a nice crunchy rock chord, and a mushy fuzz. With delay, you need to leave room in your playing, for the delayed sounds. It'...


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